Kelsey Plum made a controversial two-pointer from the top of the arc to end Team USA’s exciting 3×3 match against China at 21-19 with 34 seconds left at Aomi Urban Sports Park in Tokyo, breaking the U.S. record to 6- 0 has improved. China dropped to 4-2.
Plum’s match winner was just seven seconds after Jiyuan Wan scored for China and tied the game. From the time the game was tied at 17 with 1:52 to play, the score fluctuated between a one-point lead in the U.S. and a tie game. Lili Wang made a big two-pointer with 2:10 ahead that gave China a 17-16 lead.
The match was tied at 13, 14 and 15 and China held the last lead by two points before the end of the match at 13-11 with 5:11. China also led 12-10 on a two-pointer from Shuyu Yang, which came just nine seconds after a two from Wang tied the game at 10. The U.S. led six times, in a close game of beginning to end.
Plum finished with a game-high 10 points on the 2-of-2 distance shooting and added three rebounds. Yang matched her almost eight points, but he missed seven two-pointers compared to two makes.
Allisha Gray had five points, five boards and three blocks for the U.S., while Stefanie Dolson (six rebounds, three assistants) and Jackie Young (two rebounds, one assist) each batted three points. Wang scored six points in the defeat, was 2-out-2 from across the arc, grabbed two plates, kicked an assist and blocked a shot. Zhiting Zhang added three points, four rebounds, an assist and a block for China, while Wan finished with two points and an assist.
China won the 1-point field goal percentage battle 11-of-17 (65 percent) to 14-of-26 (54 percent). Plum is responsible for all two points and efforts of the US, while China is a combined 4-of-12 from depth. The US was 3-of-3 on the line compared to a 0-of-1 effort from China and won the comeback victory 18-9.
The U.S. must win another game to end the preliminary round unbeaten and will take on host Japan (4-2) on Tuesday at 12:30 ET.
US over Italy, 17-13
Plum (three points, three rebounds, four assists) made a nice turn and had a free throw-line jumper to put Team USA up with 57 seconds left and Gray (six points, six rebounds, one assist, one block) had made two free throws with 18.7 seconds left to close the deal.
Italy’s bad trouble (eight fouls committed) and his battle from the other side of the arc (2-of-9) condemned it, though it made two that made it 3:07 to play to 12-10 and 13-12 with 2 cut: 28 to go. Team USA was no better from distance and scored 0-out-7.
Plum left a finger roll with 1:17 left to make the USA 14-12, and Giulia Rulli followed an inside basket for Italy 12 seconds later. Earlier in the game, Plum missed two free throws that could have put the U.S. 12-8 ahead, but it grew 12-8 on Dolson rugby files anyway (six points, seven rebounds, one block). US led by two five different times before that. Italy never took the lead, although it drew the game three times early.
Young added two points and added a setback to the winning game, while Rae Lin D’Alie (five rebounds) and Rulli (one rebound) each scored four points for Italy. Chiara Consolini added three points, three boards and two assists as a defeat, while teammate Marcella Filippi scored two points and grabbed three rebounds. Consolini and Filippi are the ones who made Italy’s two-pointers.
USA comfortably won the 1-point field goal percentage battle, going 14-of-21 (67 percent) to 9-of-26 (35 percent) and 3-of-5 on the line, while Italy (2-4) do not try a free throw.